GodTube Questions for Islam #5: Does Islam understand the biblical nature of the Son of God?

John C. Rankin (January 10, 2011)

The nature of Allah, in the Qur’an, is defined by the human concept of the number 1. Thus, among other reasons, Muslims reject the idea of Jesus as the Son of God, thinking of this as polytheism.

This is a natural concern if God is singular in terms of human number. But if Yahweh Elohim, as the one true Creator in the Bible, is greater than the human measuring terms of space, time and number, then the whole discussion changes.

Here is my question: Does Islam understand the biblical nature of the Son of God?

Let me first look at a deeper question from the angle of Muslim devotion.

  1. Namely, Muslims believe that the Qur’an, as the “perfect” revelation of Allah, does not provide any presence of Allah in the midst of human experience.
  2. But Muslims are also deeply devoted to Muhammad as a man, as seen in the Sunnah and Hadith. They celebrate his life, and see him as their most perfect example of how to lead a just and good life.
  3. Thus, the Qur’an defines the perfect and unapproachable Allah, on the one hand; and the Hadith defines the human and approachable Muhammad, on the other. Thus, we see a balance between the divine and human, but in distinct and separate places.
  4. Or to address the deepest need: Jews, Christians, Muslims and all peoples thirst for the presence of the living and one true Creator, where both the divine and human meet. How do we find it? This leads us to the essence of the nature of the Son of God, which we will look at in the next post.


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House of Lords 17 October 2017

Text of John Rankin’s address on the occasion of the 500th annive5rsary of the Reformation.